2-4-2022 – JBS provides jobs, community benefits

Posted on: February 4th, 2022 by admin No Comments

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February 4, 2022

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By CADY DAVIS CDAVIS@NEWSTOPICNEWS.COM

Feb 3, 2022

 

LENOIR — JBS USA Foods brings to the table not only safe, high-quality protein products, but also community investment programs for Caldwell County.

 

JBS is a leading global food company that employs more than 67,000 U.S. team members, producing more than 200 million servings of food for families around the world every day. According to their website (jbsfoodsgroup.com), JBS is the largest beef producer in the U.S., and the second largest pork and poultry producer in the U.S. The name comes from the founder’s initials, José Batista Sobrinho, a rancher in Anápolis, Brazil, who founded JBS S.A. in 1953.

 

JBS has owned and operated a facility in Lenoir at 1450 Homegrown Ct. SW since 2014 when it purchased the plant from Vantage Foods.

 

“They have been a great company since they came to Lenoir and Caldwell County,” said Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons. “[They] have always partnered with nonprofit and local groups to help the community in so many ways. We’re honored to have them, honored that they want to give back and be part of making Lenoir and Caldwell County a better place to live, work, and play.”

 

The JBS Lenoir plant specializes in preparing retail-ready foods, including beef and pork products, for leading grocery stores such as Food Lion, Amazon/Whole Foods, and Stop and Shop, among others. Right now, the plant has 274 employees with starting pay at $17 per hour. They are currently hiring for a variety of different positions, primarily in operational roles at the facility.

 

“JBS Lenoir produces more than 1 million pounds of food per week, and we are proud to provide great career opportunities to our team members and support the growth of our community,” said Shannan Lowman, general manager for JBS Lenoir.

 

The company also touts its community investments in Caldwell County through programs such as Better Futures, Hometown Strong, and the Helping Hands Clinic.

 

The Better Futures program offers JBS employees and their child dependents the opportunity to pursue higher education for associate degrees and trade certificates at community and technological colleges tuition free.

 

Tuition will be paid for by JBS USA and one of their many brands, Pilgrim’s Chicken. Students can expect to pay no more than $500 per year for general fees and/or books. The Better Futures program is tax-free for employees, but may not be tax-free for dependent children.

 

So far, two employees and two child dependents in Lenoir have taken advantage of the company’s Better Futures program for tuition-free community college.

 

North Carolina Hometown Strong projects invest in the educational, recreational, and social service infrastructures that a community needs.

 

For example, in 2020, JBS donated more than 1.9 million (4 oz.) servings of food across the state.

 

JBS also provides assistance to Caldwell County Schools. JBS investment provided 300 hotspots to families in need, which has had a tremendous impact on children in Caldwell County, especially during the pandemic and in the event of inclement weather. Government agencies were also able to assist in providing free internet service that is still being used today.

 

With the Helping Hands Clinic project, JBS invested $50,000 to help clinics overcome COVID-19 budgetary burdens by providing primary care services, chronic disease management, and education to uninsured patients.

 

Gibbons’s wife, Becky Gibbons, serves on the Helping Hands board.

 

“We certainly appreciate [JBS’s support] very much,” the mayor said.

 

The Helping Hands Clinic has partnered with Caldwell UNC Health, Caldwell Health Department, West Caldwell Health Council, and the NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to administer this program.

 

Moreover, JBS supports several local nonprofit organizations in Caldwell County, such as Yokefellow, as well as other food pantries, shelters, churches, and more.

 

To learn more, visit jbsfoodsgroup.com/our-purpose/bringing-more-to-the-table.

 

Despite the company’s contributions to the local community, JBS has been the target of poor publicity on both a national and global scale.

 

In recent days President Joe Biden has been critical of the country’s largest meat producers: JBS, Cargill, Tyson Foods and National Beef Packing. The president accused the four companies of scoring record profits during the pandemic while also contributing to the inflation by raising prices on consumers.

 

Biden recently announced plans for new rules and $1 billion in funding for independent meat processors and ranchers in an effort to combat what he calls a lack of “meaningful competition” in the meat sector.

 

Last summer, JBS became the victim of a cyberattack believed to have originated in Russia. Those attacks disrupted operations.

 

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